Silicon Valley

Do You Need Help with a Haunting in the San Jose Area?

annette_martin_left.jpgRecently I had the pleasure of spending some time with Annette Martin, a well known San Jose psychic, medium and author.  I toured her around Los Gatos and shared with her some of the haunted places in town that I’d researched over the years (my “Los Gatos Ghost Tour“), getting her “take” or “read” on them. We also enjoyed interesting conversations about local history and the unseen spirits, ghosts and impressions that are a part of our Silicon Valley scene.

Since I get emails from all over the country regarding haunted real estate, ghosts, and problem hauntings, I asked her a little bit about her work in that arena.  What do do if a ghost is a nuisance or even a danger?  Sometimes these situations can become truly intolerable.  One of the services that Annette provides is assistance to people in homes with unwanted or negative ghostly activity.  For less than the cost of a reading, Annette will visit local homes (Santa Clara County and perhaps nearby areas) and work to calm the situation.  That may mean encouraging the ghost to cross over and go into the light, or it may mean trying to communicate the need to just get along amicably.   Of course, results cannot be guaranteed.  “If a ghost really doesn’t want to leave, it is very, very difficult to make it happen,” she explained.  Sometimes, though, they may just need a little help to move along or to calm down, and Annette’s ability to connect with them creates a good opportunity in which that can happen.

Please visit her website at for information on how to contact her as well as other information on her other related work (medical diagnosis and crime investigations as well as doing readings).

Book: Haunts of San Jose by David Lee

Yesterday I was at Borders at Oakridge Mall, in San Jose, and under the “local interest” section found a book written in 2008 by David Lee on local haunts in Santa Clara County.  I recall being phoned a year or two ago by someone putting together a book along these lines and wish I could remember if it was the same person – I suspect so but am not positive.

“Haunts of San Jose” is a paperback book and runs just about $15.  Although it’s titled,”Haunts of San Jose”, the area covered is more extensive than that, including places in Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Felton and others.

This is the first book I’ve seen that’s focused on ghost stories in the San Jose area in particular. One of the best things about the book is the collection of photographs – clearly this author spent some time visiting sites personally and not just going off of hearsay. It is well organized too, by either geographical area or topic (as in “haunted schools”).  At under 200 pages, the book is a very manageable length, too.

While “Haunts of San Jose” has good breadth, it does not have a lot of depth and the writing itself is poorly done (stylistically) – this is one book that should have had a co-author to make it a more enjoyable read.  Many stories are glossed over and some of the more interesting aspects of some places are not mentioned at all.  For example, Trials Pub in San Jose has a fascinating history (there’s a holding cell or two in the basement that used to be called into use when the jail was at overflow levels, and executions happened behind the building). 

Several haunted spots were not mentioned at all, such as Bella Saratoga, formerly the site of the Saratoga News, which is very well known locally as a haunted place. Another location said to be haunted is the Mountain Winery – no mention of this either.  At the same time, though, the book sleuthed out a few places that I did not know about – and I appreciated the new (to me) info. 

On the whole, Haunts of San Jose is a good, general overview of haunted places in and close to San Jose, and I would suggest that local ghosthunters get a copy and read it as it is a very good starting point for doing more exploration on your own.

Photos of Hacienda Cemetery and Memorial Park in New Almaden (San Jose, CA)

graveyard.jpgToday on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog, I posted a number of photos shot by friends Tisza and Mel of the historic and very scenic old graveyard in San Jose’s New Almaden area.  Please have a look!

Skeptical Sunday: Ghost of a Chance

Recently, I was interviewed by Seth and Molly for “Skeptical Sunday” at on the topic of ghosts, particularly the one(s) at Toys R Us in Sunnyvale, CA. 

They had a number of other guests on this edition too.  The spin, of course, is that of the skeptic, and it seems that none of the other guests/experts were at all open to even the possibility of the existence of ghosts, or possibly of God. (In this edition, it seemed as though all religion and faith were at times dismissed as psychological weakness.)  That part was a suprise to me! 

I would agree that skepticism around the topic of ghosts is a very good practice, and that natural explanations should be sought first, always, when something unusual or seemingly inexplicable occurs. Sometimes, though, there appear to be no natural explanations and perhaps what we’re bumping into is something that cannot be explained logically or scientifically.

Have a listen ~ I’d be interested in hearing your feedback!

Skeptical Sunday: Ghost of a Chance

Sightings in Los Gatos: Is Poet’s Canyon (the Area Near The Cats) Haunted?

The Cats of Los GatosToday I received a comment on my Live in Los Gatos blog regarding the Cats, Leo and Leona, which guard the entrance to Poet’s Canyon in Los Gatos. Is the area haunted? The writer, Kenny, heard rumors about it and is wondering if there’s more information about this available. Below are his comments. If you know anything, please leave your comment here!

Posted by: Kenny Date: Nov. 2, 2008 My English teacher told us a story about the “Stone Cats of Los Gatos”.  Back in college, he took folklore, and as part of that class, he, in a group of 5 other people, had to find a local story or legend and make a presentation.   Well, they heard the story of these stone cats of Los gatos.  They’re on either side of a gate off highway 17 just before the Los Gatos exit headed towards Santa Cruz.  They decided to take a trip up there one night to see the cats and head up the road beyond them.  The local legend had it that in the forest beyond the cats lived a troupe of albino cannibals.  So, these 6 idiot college kids found the gate, popped it open, and headed up the road beyond.  about a mile in, they start to see a shitload of red eyes in the forest around them.  Everybody starts freaking out.  Then suddenly, their truck dies.  So the three guys in the group (my teacher included) decide to head up the road (not back the way they came, remember: idiot college kids) to find a house to call for help.  Sure enough, they find a house.  My professor insists that he remembers this house vividly, and the other two guys say they saw exactly the same thing.  They get 50 feet away from the house, and it vanishes.  The three run back to the truck down the road, scaring the heck out of the girls in the truck.  They eventually get the truck started, and haul back down to the highway.  As they exit the gate, they look back at the stone cats.  The eyes of the cats are glowing red. Whats the scoop on stuff like this?

Ghost Stories on Facebook

My buddy Gary Wiens started a Facebook group for Silicon Valley called “Creepy San Jose”. The idea is for people to share their experiences of haunted spots in and around Santa Clara County (the biggest city of which is San Jose).

One gal shared a couple of ghost stories there – to check them out, folks registered with Facebook (it’s free) can visit the Creepy San Jose group on Facebook at and then surf to the discussion board.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

The Los Gatos and Saratoga Area Home Just Too Nice to Leave

Along a windy, tree-studded road near the Los Gatos and Saratoga border area there are many large custom homes on big lots. One of them, decades old and lovingly designed, built, and decorated, may well have something the rest of them don’t: a former owner too fond of the place to leave. What makes this even more unique is that she’s dead.

One Realtor, also a broker-manager, Harry Murray, tells me that he heard from two independent sources that this particular home has a benevolent ghost who’s seen in her nightgown in the room which was once her bedroom. She has been identified as the original owner.

Another Realtor who does not believe in ghosts and who sold this home within the last 10 years denies that it’s haunted and says that he’s never heard the rumors that Harry has heard about it.

Is this house haunted? If so, the ghost does not seem to be a scary one. I will see what more I can find out and elaborate on this potential haunt-spot when I get more information.

About Harry:

Harry Murray is Vice President of J. Rockcliff Realtors and Manager of the Danville, CA office.  He formerly worked in Silicon Valley for decades as a Realtor and manager in Saratoga, CA.  He is extremely well known and well respected in the industry here. He can be reached at his office, (925) 855-4000 or by email at

Haunted Real Estate, Rotten Realty Signs for the Season

A friend, fellow Silicon Valley Realtor and fellow blogger, Rick Bonetti, dropped off to me a very cool sign for Haunted Real Estate the other day. He figured that since I collect ghost stories and host this blog, I should have it. (Rick does not believe in ghosts so he gets extra credit for being really good-spirited about the whole topic.)

Rick also told me about a “Rotten Realty: sign, which I thought was also worthy of finding on the web.

Where to find these treasures? I am not sure, but I am suspecting drug stores and crafty stores…er, make that craft stores. The Haunted Real Estate sign now graces the front yard of our Los Gatos Home, and I think I will need to see if I can’t find a Rotten Realty one to go with it.

File this under “products I should have invented”!

Happy Halloween!

Haunted Hotels for the “Dead Tired”

Spooky village by Clair HandyI could not sleep if I thought a ghost was going to be visiting my hotel room, but I know of others who actively check out haunted hotels. One of them is Adrienne Foster, who reviews haunted hotels for and who kindly sent me a link to this page on Haunted National Trust Historic Hotels of America.

This article is a series of short stories on haunted hotels across the United States. One of the pieces involves our local treasure, the Sainte Claire Hilton in downtown San Jose, and a ghost bride who still lingers. A funny story tells of vanishing vino from a Napa Valley inn. Lots of hotels with haunts. Have a look – but don’t blame me if you can’t sleep when you visit them later!

Visiting a Haunted Los Gatos Restaurant

RoshandraToday’s post is written by Roshandra, a Los Gatos area intuitive and feng shui practitioner.

Trick or TREAT time ~ Halloween 2008. Where does the TIME go as we are entering Halloween? This time of year is one of my favorites. My work and ‘gifts’ bring me into this Realm of Ghost Whispering and ‘seeing’ things most others do not see.  

During this time of Halloween and just before All Saints Day, we enter the most haunted time of the year 

Jack O LanternAll Hallows, which is Halloween, or October 31st and All Saints Day, which  November 1st are the days for the dearly beloved that have passed over. It’s when the VEILS of energy between our world and the world of Spirit is the thinnest.  This is the time as children we enjoy trick or treat. Playing with the ideas of spirit and ghosts. We also have experiences at this time of the year that can often MAKE the most non-believer a BELIEVER. 

Living in Los Gatos, I am always delighted to explore the older buildings in town that many say and see as haunted. Recently a dear friend of mine that is a nurse at Good Sam was saying to me I had to visit the old funeral parlor in town.  It had been renovated into a great high end eatery. It’s very, very nice spot now.

She asked me all kinds of questions on how people can put a business into a place like a funeral parlor and be ok with that. Some people will not go or eat there due to it being a previous funeral parlor.  On the other hand she suggested she wanted me to ‘read it ‘and we set off to explore it. She was concerned about a dear young male chef, a friend of hers who just started working there. He had just returned from Las Vegas and under Wolf Gang Puck and the new chef he would be working under at this Los Gatos place also worked under Wolf Gang Puck. The Sous Chef was a ‘sensitive and he loved his work’. So we set off to see what I could read on this Local HIP EATERY in Los Gatos. Continue reading

Welcome Note!

Welcome to the Haunted Real Estate Blog. If you'd like to share a story, please email me, Mary Pope-Handy:
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Alternatively, you can send me snail mail here:

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Or phone me at
408 204-7673
(please, no sales calls).
DRE # 01153805

Stories shared &
opinions are mine
and do not necessarily
reflect those of
Sereno Group.